Category Archives: vintage scraps

how purpose matters

The decision to give The Crow to Wendy  Golden-Levitt to share with traumatized children as part of their therapy (see yesterday’s post), not only inspired subsequent design choices, it gave energy to completion. Like the commissioned quilt, I wanted there to be very soft textures (this one: angora knit, silk wings, satin woven sections, velvet backing). After mounting the rectangle to a jacket, with visions of children running with the crow on their backs, I cut it away, because it wouldn’t fit the little ones, and anyway, three feet of streaming ribbon could possibly problematic.  The captions tell the rest.

damp stretching knit onto felt

defining wing area

rejected bead eye, used button; added silk for wings and belly, felt for feet

split running stitch to better define beak; a strip of my mother’s wool challis scarf to get her in there

stitched to velvet jacket, then cut away, leaving velvet edges; added runners of lace and satin

vision of child wearing crow and streaming tails changed to something that could sit in their lap, not get caught on anything; size shouldn’t matter

returning to ‘treasure map’ idea, this time with star map and red X’s marking the spot

crow communing with birds; tapering rectangle shows need of additional cloth

kept little blue tab on side — it looks to me like a way out or a way in

added soft polka dot panels to even lower edges

ready to fly away!

“but there’s no living thing…”*

possible inhabitant

This house has a personality, but I want it to have some living creatures associated with it. The seams on the roof please me. The door needs a doorknob.

What could go in this house? I need more patience.

Maybe I’ll name this cat, “Patience”, and let her be the guardian of the place.

*that’s what D said when I showed him the almost-finished Village Quilt I’d made for his bed. I added some cats.


A nest right off of our deck in the large Jack Pine on the north side of the house – a delight!! With so many of my friends becoming empty-nesters this fall, I will be bearing witness to the little birds leaving this bough with interest.  C. goes to Europe in July, returns briefly, then flits off himself.  I am glad we still have D. at home, and that I don’t have twins or two children the same age, so as to stagger this absence.

Silly seniors who have known each other (for the most part) since kindergarten:
(My guy is wearing jeans and white T).
Weekend also saw beginning of first of three commissions… this one a T-shirt quilt.  I am going to be efficient!! (she said!!)
I swore I’d never make another of these after the last one, but it doesn’t make sense to turn away paying work, given our situation.  Next one? Noah’s Ark art quilt.  The one after that?  A wall quilt depicting a cattle ranch in Montana.  So there will be some challenges ahead.

Also constructed this breast-cancer-post-op pillow this weekend from a super-soft and pretty purple floral fabric that I believe dates from the 60’s.  The strap would take the weight, so that the wearer does not have to apply pressure with her arm, and it is adjustable, so that it can be snugged up tight into the armpit, or worn lower down.  The best part?  There are about two cups of organic lavender buds in the center section (I used batting in the ‘ears’ and added some navy beans in with the buds to give it a little more weight and texture)… which means that the pressure and warmth of the body will release the heavenly scent of lavender!  This is for my friend’s sister.

blue stitches

More pocketbook construction today and much gnashing of teeth.  But, bedtime now, and first thing in the morning, coffee… how bad can it be?!

This sweet textile surfaced over the weekend.  I have two of them.  I think they are valences.  So beautifully stitched and edged!

Between now and Newton Open Studios (May 20), look for more images and fewer words.